Cillian Murphy - Rotten Tomatoes

Cillian Murphy

Lowest Rated:   17% Aloft (2015)
Birthplace:   Douglas, Cork in Ireland
A soft-spoken, fair-skinned actor with startling blue eyes, a penchant for playing volatile characters, and a reluctance to forsake his critically lauded stage career for a life in film, American audiences may best know Irish actor Cillian Murphy as the bike courier making his way through infected London in director Danny Boyle's apocalyptic thriller 28 Days Later. Though the film may have been Murphy's first to find wide stateside exposure, he has been appearing onscreen in the U.K. and his native Ireland since 1997. Born in Douglas, Cork, Ireland, in 1974, Murphy's father was a school inspector and his mother a French teacher. Attending school at Presentation Brothers College Cork while intending to enter into a career in law, Murphy was an avid rugby player who was turned on to the Concordia Theater's unique stage productions in his fourth year. Murphy soon signed up for a workshop with Concordia's Pat Tiernan and it quickly became apparent that he had a natural flair for the stage. Soon cast as the wildly emotional Pig in Concordia's production of Disco Pigs, Murphy debuted to rave reviews and was soon skipping school to go on tour with the production. Though his acting had initially begun as a hobby and a way to kill time on the weekends, it was quickly taking over his life and a career in law seemed less and less appealing. Though he would attempt to continue his law studies, it was soon obvious to Murphy that his heart just wasn't in it.Subsequently cast in a series of interesting and complex roles, Murphy made his feature debut in the 1998 film Sweety Barrett and quickly followed with the coming-of-age comedy drama Sunburn. Though it was obvious that his stage talents translated well to the silver screen, Murphy still maintained that the rush of theater couldn't be touched by celluloid. The problem in Ireland of suicide and poor mental health among young men prompted Murphy to accept a role in the 2000 drama On the Edge, and his role of a suicidal psychiatric patient proved memorable and affecting. Following How Harry Became a Tree (2001), it was time to adapt Disco Pigs into a feature film, and with director Kirsten Sheridan at the helm, Murphy reprised his role of Pig to enthusiastic results. By the time 28 Days Later rolled around, it seemed that everyone except United States audiences were familiar with the rising star, and with the stateside release of the film in mid 2003, all that was soon to change. Noting that, in his opinion, the best actors alternate frequently between stage and screen, Murphy strived to keep a balance as his growing popularity found his film career taking precedence. Following 2003's Zonad, Murphy began preparation for such features as Intermission and Girl With a Pearl Earring (both 2003).Murphy's resumé amassed higher and higher profile roles. 2005 brought his most popular film to date as he played the villain opposite hero Christian Bale in Batman Begins. Murphy's "boy next door" face seemed to make his performance as the menacing Scarecrow all the more disturbing, and he would go on to play the bad guy again later that same year in Red Eye, though this time he wore makeup to cover his boyish features. Soon he was donning even more makeup, however, as a transsexual in the indie hit Breakfast on Pluto. Playing both a victim and a hero in the U.K. of the 1970s, Murphy's ethereal performance as a boy who leaves his Ireland home to live as a woman in London was praised by critics, and the film was a cult success. He followed it up with another passion project in 2006: Ken Loach's award-winning The Wind That Shakes the Barley, a look at the Irish Republicans of the early 20th century and the anti-British rebellion that would continue to tear families apart for decades to come. He next signed on to star with Lucy Liu in the romantic comedy Watching the Detectives, another independent venture that would find Murphy playing a shy film geek who's pulled out of his movie collection and into the re


Highest Rated Movies



91% A Quiet Place Part II
  • Actor
67% The Delinquent Season
  • Actor
82% The Party
  • Tom
$0.4M 2018
No Score Yet Kjærlighetens Sesonger
  • Jim
92% Dunkirk
  • Actor
$188.1M 2017
70% Free Fire
  • Chris
$1.8M 2017
66% Anthropoid
  • Josef Gabcík
$3M 2016
100% Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach
  • Actor
43% In the Heart of the Sea
  • Second Mate Matthew Joy
$19.1M 2015
17% Aloft
  • Ivan
19% Transcendence
  • Agent Buchanan
$23.1M 2014
63% Broken
  • Mike
30% Red Lights
  • Tom Buckley
$49.8k 2012
No Score Yet Dali & I: The Surreal Story
  • Stan Lauryssens
37% In Time
  • Raymond Leon
$36M 2011
62% Retreat
  • Martin
No Score Yet Telepathy
  • Actor
87% Inception
  • Robert Fischer Jr.Robert Fischer
$292.6M 2010
55% Perrier's Bounty
  • Michael McCrea
No Score Yet Peacock
  • John/Emma Skillpa
No Score Yet Hippie Hippie Shake
  • Richard Neville
No Score Yet White Male Heart
  • Actor
No Score Yet The Water
  • Actor
56% Waveriders
  • Narrator
94% The Dark Knight
  • Scarecrow
$533.4M 2008
37% The Edge of Love
  • William Killick
77% Sunshine
  • Capa
$3.8M 2007
No Score Yet Watching the Detectives
  • Neil
90% The Wind That Shakes the Barley
  • Damien O'Donovan
$1.8M 2007
57% Breakfast on Pluto
  • Patrick `Kitten' Braden
$0.8M 2005
79% Red Eye
  • Jackson Rippner
$57.9M 2005
84% Batman Begins
  • Dr. Jonathan Crane
$204.2M 2005
73% Girl With a Pearl Earring
  • Pieter
$11.6M 2004
74% Intermission
  • John
$0.8M 2003
87% 28 Days Later
  • Jim
$45M 2003
20% Disco Pigs
  • Pig
No Score Yet How Harry Became a Tree
  • Gus
67% On the Edge
  • Jonathan
No Score Yet The Trench
  • Rag Rookwood
No Score Yet Sunburn
  • Davin McDerby


No Score Yet A World of Calm
  • Actor
  • Narrator
  • 2020
No Score Yet The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
  • Guest
  • 2017
92% Peaky Blinders
  • Thomas Shelby Tommy Shelby
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2014
No Score Yet Last Call With Carson Daly
  • Guest
  • 2014
No Score Yet The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson
  • Guest
  • 2014
No Score Yet Masterpiece
  • Paul Montague
  • 2002
No Score Yet The Way We Live Now
  • Paul Montague
  • 2002

Quotes from Cillian Murphy's Characters